It’s been an odd week. Monday I had a near mental breakdown. It’s something that happens I guess. I think my brain was left a bit bruised. It took until yesterday for me to finally feel like using my head again for something other than a hat stretcher. I don’t know how today is going to go. Mentally I’m feeling a bit numb.
Yesterday, the one bright ray of sunshine in a week of stormy skies, I felt like I had it all together and like I was in the place I need to be. And even today in my subdued state I think I’m still coasting along on the momentum I picked up yesterday. But where I want to let the momentum take me and where life is insisting I must go are two entirely different places. My desires and outside pressures are both equally and disproportionately strong.
I’m trying to figure out which side I want to dive into for a spiritual and psychological tug-o-war. Right now I can’t. I have my sense of duty and obligation to my family and I have my innate urges and instincts. They are not 100% in conflict, but my instincts definitely jeopardize any kind of financial or social stability in my life.
Sitting, staring at my computer screen, trying to crank this post out quick so I can get to work…I feel physically tired. I’m wondering if my mental fog this morning isn’t simply tiredness. And its odd. I fell asleep and don’t remember waking up all night. But I remember vivid dreams just before my eyes opened in darkness this morning. They were the kind of dream you want to hang onto and explore. Some dreams just seem like there’s more there than random synapses firing in a brain unconstrained by sensory organs. Maybe I expended more energy in my sleep than I should have.
Days like today all I want to do is write. Days like yesterday get my mind fired up and hitting on all cylinders and days like today I need to open up the throttle. I need to remember this for the future.
I turned on my computer at work and saw this image (I've made it my background):
I took this. Boone and I went hiking one day in Boulder County. We first went to Sugarloaf Peak which was an easy hike to a low summit. But from the snow scoured summit I could see deep curtains of snow obscuring the Continental Divide only a few miles away.
“You want to go check out the place where the winds are born?” I asked Boone. He grinned and said yes. We hiked back down to the car and drove down the Peak-to-Peak Highway to Nederland (home of the frozen dead guy) and then turned up North Beaver Creek valley out of town and took it to Coon Track Creek. By the time we reached the ghost town of Caribou (the meteorological neonatal unit) the snow was hammering our car pretty hard. I was looking for an image. I saw it clearly in my head. I envisioned it over the course of a few months. Here is the evolution of that image:
|This was a surprising shot as we drove along the Peak-to-Peak Highway from Estes Park.|
|I actually took this on a bike ride in Bear Creek Canyon beyond Morrison, CO.|
The pines, the snow, the ambiance all spoke to me. November 2009
|This was on the slopes of Mount Lindo in Turkey Creek Canyon. |
I really loved the movement of the snow, but didn't feel I captured it well. December 2009
|Looking over Echo Lake toward the Mount Evans Massif. |
I loved the gradient change from front to back. January 2010
|This was the image I wanted. I'd been trying for weeks to get it. |
It still lacked something. January 2010
In the last image I thought I had nailed it. I was happy with it. But on that day, nearly a year after I took the first photo, as Boone and I drove up toward Caribou in a whiteout I realized I could get a better image. Then I saw it.
I stopped the car, changed a few settings on the camera, stepped out into the howling and bitterly cold wind and snapped this image. Sometimes it seems as if my whole life is frozen in those pixels. I have never in my life captured anything as strikingly beautiful (to myself) with so much certainty and control.
A little further down the road as the snow eased off I captured one last image. It seemed to be a perfect bookend to the first image in the post. It wasn't technically as perfect, but I think it evoked a contrasting feeling and I love them both equally. Please ignore the horrible vignette filter effect in the lower left.
I look outside and see snow falling on an ugly street scene and I cringe. I want to be out in the woods capturing the Kentucky equivalent of this series of photos. But I look back on that culminating image and sometimes I think I should have just put the camera down for good afterward. And then I look at this last one and think there are so many more good visual sculptures out there to find and reveal to the world.